Madison River Fishing Report for July 13th, 2022
Dam: 903 cfs
Kirby: 1,200 cfs
Varney: 1,560 cfs
It’s been another incredible week of fishing on the Upper Madison, and we are still in the midst of the best dry fly fishing of the season. Water levels are back to normal for mid to late July, but we wouldn’t be surprised if flows out of Hebgen Dam are increased a little bit as the forecast is calling for much hotter days this week. It’s still busy out there, but there are always places to find a little solitude if you are willing to walk a little further around the bend.
There are still Salmonflies and Goldens from Windy Point up to the Slide area, with the heart of the hatch now between Raynolds and Pine Butte. Otherwise we have clouds of caddis every day, PMDs, Green Drakes, Epeorus, and yellow sallies and the best window for good dry fly fishing seems to be from around 10:30 am until mid afternoon, and then again in the evening. We are finding fish in the usual feeding lanes tight to the banks, around boulders and boulder slicks, and in the middle of the river as well so be sure to cover as much water as possible whether you’re on the oars or wading on foot — In other words, if it looks fishy…fish it. Some of our better dries over the last week have been Olive and Tan X-Caddis, Missing Link Caddis, Butch Caddis, Yellow Sally Summer Stones, Silvey’s Yellow Sallies, Purple Hazes, Nyman’s PMD Cripple, Water Walkers in Salmonfly and Golden Stone, Half Down Goldens, and Henry’s Fork Foam Stones in Salmonfly and Golden.
Nymph anglers have also been doing very well out there with a variety of subsurface patterns. Stalcup’s Tungsten Yellow Sally, Tungsten Jig Sally, Olive Caddis Larva, Z-Wing Caddis, Perdigons, Three Dollar Dips, FFKA Princes, Tungsten Red Necks, PMD Barr’s Emergers, and PMD Splitbacks are all good choices and have been some of our most consistent producers as of late. Most of the time you’ll do best by getting your flies right on the bottom, but you might want to try running a little higher in the water column during a big hatch as many fish will suspend just below to the surface to pick off emerging insects.
Streamer fishing has started to get better on the lower river down by Ennis, but has still been a little slow up high during the day. Mornings and evenings are still best if you are looking to get some fish on larger articulated patterns, so keep it black or olive when the sun is off the water and cycle through the usual suspects – Dungeons, Peanut Envys, Mini Boogie Men, and small sculpin patterns like mini loops, mini dungeons, and sculpzillas. The streamer bite should get better in the coming weeks, as the numbers of bugs begin to subside and the larger trout start to key in on sculpin and smaller fish.